- 6 years, 5 months ago cooper1Participant
Just wondering at what point a crate is too small for a dog? Cooper is growing by leaps and bounds and I’m wondering if he is too big for the crate we have for him. When he sits, he has to duck is head a bit, he can stand up and turn himself around but his body takes up the length of the crate. We have a decently large space in the kitchen for the crate although I’m not exactly thrilled with filling it with a motel sized crate for him! 😛 Without knowing what his full size will ultimately be, I’d rather not buy multiple crates over the years either – maybe just one more upgrade? Any thoughts on this? Since he can get up and turn around is that fine for now or should he have more room than that? I should note that he is comfortable enough that he spends time in his crate even when the door is open and he has freedom to be out and about.
I’m embarrassed to say that I will probably be the only client to show up to a level 3 class with a brand new chewed on remote collar controller! Cooper steals everything and seems to be working the system. In class we talked about getting things from him by offering a treat and using “out”. That works just fine to get the item but I’m pretty sure he’s grabbing things around the house, now off tables which is a new trick of his since he can reach most things now that he is growing like he’s on steroids (he’s not, I promise!), and “showing” them to us knowing that if we want them badly enough, we’ll grab a treat. He’ll release the item (shoe, homework, sock and yes, remote collar controller) to get his “reward”. We seem to be in a cycle with this since school started. My kids are in school, I’m back to teaching and no one is in the house during the day so I really think this is an underlying issue of restless spirit. So, addressing that is one thing I am working on with playing tug (and using “out” to release the tug), more frequent and longer walks and training periods but that doesn’t seem to lessen the frequency of the thefts. He seems wise to the free snack and this has become quite the event each evening as her peruses the house for items he can take. He does not have free access to toys and bones either as those are put away and controlled by me.
Any other suggestions you can offer would be appreciated!
- 6 years, 5 months ago TeresaModerator
It sounds like the crate you have is just a bit undersized. Large breed dogs reach their adult height roughly between 8 and 10 months. So 1 size up from the crate you have should work just fine. If you don’t want to invest in a brand new crate you can find them for sale in the pennysaver and craigslist for a good price.
As for the stealing, you are right to address restless spirit as this is usually a component. If you can anticipate that he is in a mood to cruise around looking for trouble that would be a good time to give him a kong or a bully stick to occupy him so that he stays out trouble. Trading with him, or telling him out is a good way to get things back when he already has them in his possesion.
The other part of this equation is to prevent him from getting the object in the first place. He should always be where you can supervise him, until he has proven trustworthy with you around. If you see him approaching an object/table/counter with the intention of investigating and stealing, then using a “Dog God” or environmental correction would be appropriate. This is when you use a negative motivator (spray of compressed air, spray from citronella collar, or remote collar correction are examples) without letting on to the dog that you are the source. This means no talking to him or making eye contact, immediately before, during or after the correction. The reason we correct in this manner is so that the behavior will be reliable when you are not present. If you make the correction about you, then he will likely surf the counter/ table when you are not present.
Make sure you are following the Golden Rules .
1)Timing – correct timing would be when he is about to investigate an area with the intent of stealing it, not when he already has the object in his possession.
2)Motivation- The goal is to use a most minimal correction that is motivational enough for him to respect it. If he is attempting it many times regardless of the correction, then it is not motivational enough. If he panics when he gets corrected and doesn’t recover from it for 5 minutes it is too much. Know your dog when picking the “Dog God”/environmental correction. If he is very sound sensitive then using compressed air may send him into a panic etc.
3) Consistency- make sure you are supervising him so that you can use the chosen correction each time he attempts this. Otherwise he should be placed in a dog safe area or his crate.
Hope this helps! Keep us posted.
- 6 years, 4 months ago cooper1Participant
Thx for all the advice – you always write things in a way that makes sense and give an action plan that is easy to put into place. I appreciate your time and effort! Do you have a suggestion for a vendor for the crate? I’m not finding a larger one on Craigslist, pennysaver or ebay. I’ve seen them on Amazon but not sure if that’s the best place to go for it.
Also, Mike mentioned that you would have the name of a very good vet in Brookfield. Would you mind passing along the name? Feel free to email me if you like. I’m still in the hunt for a vet that I’m comfortable with. Thx
- 6 years, 4 months ago TeresaModerator
Glad I can be helpful 🙂
I like the midwest crates. They have a side and front door and are made of metal. They also collapse flat which is great for storage or traveling.
I will send you a pivate message about the vet~
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